Today kicks off our October Supplement focus! We thought it would be important to give out some information regarding user friendly supplements that are effective for individuals looking to maximize their results in the gym. Each week during the month of October, we will discuss a different supplement, considerations for using it and how it can help you achieve your goals!
The most important addition to any gym goer’s diet and supplement regime is protein! Without proper protein intake, we are not giving ourselves the opportunity to maximize our recovery. Achieving this through your diet may be challenging, if for example you are going to the gym 3x per week with a family and a full time job, you might need a little help. Protein supplements give you a quick addition to your daily routine and offer a high quality protein source to support your recovery!
Now, I understand walking into a GNC or Vitamin Shoppe can be a little intimidating. There are literally hundreds of different protein options out there. Let’s discuss the most common options.
- Whey Protein (the most common protein supplement on the market) is the most bioavailable protein you can get. This just means how efficiently our bodies can use the protein.
Common options for Whey include:
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Grass Fed Whey (minimal additives and sweeteners)
- Whey Protein Isolate
- A blend of Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolyzed
Whey protein is high in BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) which are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. These are key to getting your recovery on the move. Considerations for whey should focus on how well you can tolerate this protein because of its dairy background. Whey Protein is considered a fast protein with absorption rates usually around 2 hours. Very affordable and ideal for pre or post workout!
- Egg Protein (Egg White Protein) is about as bioavailable as it gets as a whole food protein. It is widely tolerated, aside from any allergies, and is a high quality source of protein. It is a great alternative for any individual who is lactose intolerant. It is considered a medium digesting protein usually around 3-4 hours. Egg white protein can be a good option post workout or between meals!
- Casein Protein is the second component to the protein found in dairy products. It is a slow digesting protein that often takes longer than 4 hours to digest. It is still highly effective and is a great option before bed or between meals! Keep in mind that casein forms curds in the stomach that may make it difficult for digestive enzymes to break it down. If you tolerate milk proteins it is a great option to add to your diet!
- Protein Blends are a popular option because you get a mix of the three proteins mentioned above. The benefit and appeal of this approach is the difference in absorption rates. You get the fast whey, medium egg and slow casein in one shake! This allows you to feed your muscles for hours and hours!
- Vegan Proteins are commonly sourced from pea protein, hemp, pumpkin seed, chickpeas, black beans, brown rice, soy, chia and sunflower seeds. Keep in mind that some of these sources of protein are not always complete proteins like you would find in animal sources. That does not mean they are ineffective! Do not neglect the power of a complete and well rounded diet when considering this approach!
Protein supplements offer a wide variety of choices! Every effort should be made to get as much protein as you can through whole foods, we cannot stress this enough. There needs to be a conscious effort towards meeting your protein needs in your diet or these supplements will not provide that extra edge you might need. Remember that with regular exercise and strength training your body will require a higher protein intake to fuel your recovery and feed those muscles!
Shoot for around 5-6 grams of BCAA’s in your protein shake! This information should be easy to find on the label. More is not always more effective so consuming a BCAA product during your workout and then drinking a shake immediately afterwards won’t necessarily produce a better recovery! Save your money!
Looking to get started the right way with your fitness journey?